Belinda Kroll's Reviews > The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
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Aug 07, 10

bookshelves: historical
Read in May, 2007

Because it is a love story to readers and writers. This just might be my favorite book if 2007, just as Elantris was my favorite of 2006. I will be hard-pressed, I think, to find another book that immediately enfolded me in its mystery and charm, leaving me dazed in my everyday activities as I contemplated the characters and plot. Every character is tangible and sympathetic, the setting is distinct, and the plot is original (to me, at least). The style is romantic in the classic sense of the word, yet entirely believable given the narrator’s (Margaret) deep appreciation of books. We’re never given a time period, yet I’m left with the impression that Margaret lives in the 1930s, 40s, or perhaps even 1950s.

Reading this book left me with sensations of DuMarier’s Rebecca, Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, LeFanu’s The Wyvern Mystery, and other such romantic, gothic, books. Read it for the intense characterizations. Read it to know the language of a bibliophile speaking with another bibliophile, describing favorite works. I feel as though The Thirteenth Tale has changed me and so my writing: it’s let me believe that there are readers willing to entertain a more romantic and classic style from a modern author, and that is good news indeed.

Originally posted at http://worderella.com/2007/05/book-th...
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